Sky Zhu
Sky Zhu
Software Developer
April 10, 2024

Master Data Management Challenges (& How to Overcome Them)

Master Data Management Challenges (& How to Overcome Them)
  • Master Data Management (MDM) solutions can't keep pace with modern, dynamic data.
  • Master data management challenges include data silos, duplicative data, poor data quality, trouble with regulators, and a lack of Customer 360 views.
  • AI-powered, human-refined golden records are built for dynamic, evolving data and deliver on the promise of Customer 360.

For decades, businesses have relied on traditional master data management (MDM) solutions to help master their data. In its attempts to create a “golden record,” MDM employs rules to drive the standardization, validation, and governance of data across systems and silos within an organization. These rules take a long time - and skilled people - to write, modify, and maintain. Over time, these rules become increasingly complex and brittle, making it difficult for MDM to keep pace as your data and your business change.

Challenges with Master Data Management (MDM)

Let's look deeper at why companies struggle with MDM.

  • Disconnected data silos: the average organization has 400 data sources. And many times, these data sources don't align, making it impossible to gain a holistic view of all your data. That's why companies struggle to benefit from the value their data can provide - because the insights are trapped within their data sources.
  • Poor data quality: when organizations act on inaccurate, incomplete, or outdated data, it costs them valuable time and money. In fact, issues with data quality cost the US economy more than $3 trillion dollars annually.
  • Difficulties complying with regulations: data is constantly changing. In order to remain compliant with regulations, organizations must ensure that their data remains accurate, consistent, and complete. Doing so requires the organization to invest significant time and effort to maintain MDM rules so that they don't generate data that impacts regulatory compliance.
  • Multiple customer records: MDM rules can't capture the complexity of your business, which is why MDM inevitably creates multiple, conflicting records of the same customer. As a result, customers experience disconnected, duplicative experiences that make them feel like the organization doesn't know them at all.
  • Lack of Customer 360 views: While MDM solutions tout their ability to deliver customer golden records, in reality, they fall short on their promises. In today's world where data is constantly changing and evolving, no number of human resources can keep up with the amount of rule changes needed to create true 360-degree views of customers.  

When companies fail to overcome these challenges, internal business partners (e.g., sales and marketing teams, finance departments, product, customer services, support teams, etc.) become frustrated and lose trust in the data, causing them to stop taking action on the insight the data provides. And these frustrations extend beyond company walls. Customers become disgruntled when a company they work with clearly lacks insight into their digital behavior, purchasing history, and interactions with the organization, causing them to disconnect and question whether or not they want to continue their partnership.

Overcoming Master Data Management Challenges with AI

To combat the persistent challenges caused by rules-based MDM, data-savvy organizations are embracing an AI-first approach that speeds the discovery, enrichment, and maintenance of trustworthy golden records. 

Using AI, organizations can:

  • Combine embedded similarity with human feedback to achieve best-in-class match rates with external data, which, in turn, ensures data accuracy and reliability.
  • Integrate every identifier in the system of record with human validation to create a personalized, single view of each customer, ensuring that customer interactions are informed and relevant.
  • Capitalize on the ability of AI-powered solutions to continuously learn and improve from machine-generated feedback. Not only does this make data management more efficient and adaptive over time, but it also enables the system to evolve and keep pace as business needs and data landscapes change.

Further, AI enables organizations to specifically address each of the MDM challenges above.

  • Disconnected data silos: AI can automatically align and unify disparate data sources, connecting data silos into a single holistic view.
  • Poor data quality: AI can standardize and correct data. It can also intelligently merge data across different records and match them with external data sources to fill in missing data.
  • Difficulties complying with regulations: AI can adapt and keep up with data changes. Organizations that use AI instead of rules don't have to worry about their rules maintaining compliance.
  • Multiple customer records: Entity resolution allows AI to "recognize" when two records are referring to the same entity, allowing it to create a single golden record for that entity across diverse data sets.
  • Lack of Customer360 views: AI delivers on the promise of golden records, providing organizations with a complete, consistent, enriched view of customers across systems and sources that is impossible to achieve with rules-based solutions

Finally, human refinement is a critical capability when it comes to ensuring that customer golden records are accurate and reliable. Only humans have the unique ability to apply the judgment and domain expertise needed to review and refine the AI. This human oversight helps to correct errors, make judgment calls on ambiguous cases, and provide additional context outside of what the AI may have considered.

This powerful combination of AI capabilities and human expertise underscores the need for solutions that are both sophisticated and user-friendly. And that's where Tamr comes in.  

AI-powered, Human-Refined Golden Records

Tamr makes it possible for businesses to realize the promise of the elusive golden record. Using an AI-powered, human-refined approach to data management, Tamr helps organizations overcome the challenges of master data management by providing:

  • Speed and savings: Tamr helps companies save time and reduce costs by delivering golden records in weeks, not months or years. And because Tamr's solutions are efficient and automated, they lower project and operational costs as well.
  • Accuracy: Tamr delivers clean, matched, trustworthy data that's ready for consumption. With a focus on enhancing data quality and matching for effective entity resolution and automating curation efforts, Tamr reduces data curation efforts by 90%, enhances accuracy, and frees up resources so they can focus on other critical tasks.
  • Comprehensiveness: Tamr takes data to the next level by aligning all data sources and unique data attributes and leveraging 1-click, 3rd party enrichment capabilities. Doing so not only ensures high-value data is comprehensive and complete, but it also allows organizations to match, recognize, and leverage unique data attributes that make a company distinct and then enrich that customer data even further with reliable, third-party sources.
  • Durability: By combining real-time API integrations, AI-powered search, and human engagement, Tamr delivers higher levels of accuracy and completeness of golden records over time. Using APIs to connect source systems for ongoing data additions and changes makes golden records more durable, while seamless integration with various data sources helps to maintain data currency and accuracy. Real-time, AI-powered search keeps data up-to-date while also preventing incorrect or duplicative data from entering the system. And because Tamr is user-friendly, everyone can easily review, refine, and approve updates and changes, making data management collaborative and efficient.

Tamr makes it possible to overcome master data management challenges by providing the flexibility needed to adapt to the needs of modern, data-driven businesses. By putting the management and control of today's ever-changing data into the hands of the people who need it, organizations can harness the power of their data and drive business growth.

Ready to learn more? Download our e-book to discover why AI-powered, human-refined golden records consistently outperform MDM.